Not far from your own doorstep, a completely different reality exists. Whilst you are ordering your soy latte, or making school lunches, a little girl perhaps no older than 5 years old is being brutally trafficked for sex. You may be talking about your next family holiday by the beach with your colleagues at the water cooler, but somewhere else, a child is dying from neglect, starvation, HIV, abuse, drug overdoses, disease or torture. Thirty children will die today, and every day in this evil trade.
The place that offers a morbid reality akin to that of a horror movie is none other than Cambodia, one of the world’s poorest nations where child sex trafficking is thriving. Immoral people from all over the world who have one thing in common, a perverted and psychologically depraved thought process, greedily descend upon a humanity who will quite literally sell their soul to the devil out of desperation. Here, the average life span for these children trafficked into sex is just seven years — perhaps a fate less cruel than survival, where, as women, they relive the inhumane horror inflicted upon them as innocent children playing like a newsreel through their mind every day.
It is not my place to determine the true description of “riches in life,” but it is my strong view that every child deserves a childhood, where they play, learn and are kept safe from harm. I want to lead a movement that give these children their lives back. It is the very least they deserve, as fellow humans on the same planet as you and I.
I make no secret of the sacrifices I made to give my daughter, Tiffany, the life I felt she deserved. My own childhood was stolen from me when I was just 8 years old somewhere in far North China in a bitterly cold village, and I remember clearly my own parents subjected to forced labour for being “enemies of the people.” Because of this, sadly they passed away young and Tiffany did not meet them. I am so proud to acknowledge that my own stolen childhood and sacrifices has been an inspiration for Tiffany to not only succeed at her own aspirations, but to champion that for others.
Tiffany is building a thriving small beauty business, returning to China several times to complete further studies in this area. But I would confidently say that her stand-out achievement has been encouraging me and my husband, Rob, to start a not-for-profit organisation to stamp out this obscene industry, called The Sunlight Foundation. In conjunction with other organisations and charities on the ground, the aims of the Sunlight Foundation are to appropriately assist with the plight of any children affected by sex trafficking in any way. Tiffany is on the Management Committee of the charity as well as a Miss Australia finalist who has taken on the role of campaigning to end child sex trafficking as the Ambassador for the charity, as well as supporting The Children’s Cancer Hospital at Westmead.
With the priority being on setting up the organisation and materials in the first place, Tiffany has just begun to officially start campaigning and fundraising. But as she does, please rest assured I will be sharing her adventures on my blog and Medium account. If you have any ideas on what activities she could focus on, please share them with me. I sincerely hope you join Tiffany on this path to create better opportunities for children who are vulnerable to this monstrous crime.
This post was first published on medium